While the Chilcot Inquiry is mostly an exercise in whitewash, it has turned up some useful information, more evidence to carve on Blair's tomstone beneath the bodycount. This week, its how he gagged his Attorney-General's advice that the war was illegal, then bullied him into changing it by giving him the Malcolm Tucker treatment:
The Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war will consider a letter from Lord Goldsmith, then Mr Blair's top law officer, advising him that deposing Saddam would be in breach of international law, according to a report in The Mail on Sunday.Meanwhile, Blair is apparently upset about the damage the inquiry is doing to his "reputation". What reputation would that be? His reputation as a war criminal?
But Mr Blair refused to accept Lord Goldsmith's advice and instead issued instructions for his long-term friend to be "gagged" and barred from cabinet meetings, the newspaper claimed. Lord Goldsmith apparently lost three stone, and complained he was "more or less pinned to the wall" in a No 10 showdown with two of Mr Blair's most loyal aides, Lord Falconer and Baroness Morgan. Mr Blair also allegedly failed to inform the Cabinet of the warning, fearing an "anti-war revolt".
Lord Goldsmith allegedly threatened to resign over the issue, but was "bullied" into backing down. He eventually issued carefully drafted qualified backing for the invasion.